Qantas Airways said on Wednesday (August 18) it would require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19
in line with a number of other airlines globally.
So-called 'frontline' staff - pilots, cabin crew and airport workers will need to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15. Others, those at head office, for example, will have until the end of next March, the airline said.
Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said the compulsory shot would keep customers as well as employees safe.
"Now it is clear that vaccinations are the only way to end the cycle of lockdowns and border closures, and for a lot of Qantas and Jetstar employees that means getting back to work again. But I also think that today's announcement is the kind of safety leadership people expect from us, people expect from the aviation industry and people would expect from the national carrier."
Australia is in the grip of a third wave, which has exposed weaknesses in the country's vaccine rollout and forced more than half of its 25 million people into lockdown.
The restrictions have slashed domestic travel demand.
Qantas has temporarily idled about 2,500 employees without pay for at least two months to cope with the downturn.
The airline has previously said it will require all international passengers to be vaccinated once Australia's borders reopen.